Demonstrators marched in Manila a year after the firebrand leader took office
Hundreds of people staged a protest in Manila on Friday to mark the first anniversary of Rodrigo Duterte becoming President of the Philippines.
They headed to his presidential palace, denouncing policies including his notorious war on drugs that has seen thousands of extra-judicial killings.
Critics held placards with slogans such as “Stop killing the poor” and displayed a ‘report card’ giving a damning verdict on his presidency.
Protest leader Renato Reyes of the Patriotic Alliance group said:
“The human rights record is a very serious concern. It is a bloody mark on the report card of the president and the killings have to stop, martial law has to stop, the militarisation of communities in the countryside has to stop.”
A bloody drug war and an ISIS-linked city siege mark Duterte’s first year in office https://t.co/sDRHzWcFqc
— TIME (@TIME) 30 juin 2017
Duterte was a provincial city mayor whose brash man-of-the-people style, pledges to crush crime and firebrand rhetoric struck a chord with the Filipino people. His popularity saw him beat establishment rivals in last year’s election and swear the oath of office.
Since then he has joked about rape, compared his war on drugs to the Holocaust and told Barack Obama to “go to hell”.
Now facing his biggest crisis, as government troops battle Islamist rebels, Duterte scored an “excellent” personal trust rating in an opinion poll in May.